Mayor John Cooper, a Nashville native and former at-large Metro Council member, announced on Tuesday that he will not run for re-election in the upcoming August mayoral race. This marks a rare situation in Nashville, where most previous mayors have sought a second term.
During a press conference, Cooper emphasized the accomplishments of his term, including implementing a vision of a city that works for everyone, with safe neighborhoods, better infrastructure, beautiful parks, and well-funded public schools.
Cooper’s decision not to run for re-election opens the field for new candidates, including District 19 Council member Freddie O’Connell, Nashville economic development and affordable housing veteran Matt Wiltshire, and At-Large Council member Sharon Hurt.
Nashville has seen a number of shifts in its top leadership over the last few years, including the resignation of former Mayor Megan Barry and the single term of David Briley. Mayor Cooper’s victory in the 2019 mayoral race marked the first time in the history of the Metro government that an incumbent mayor was defeated in a re-election bid.
As his term comes to a close later this summer, Mayor Cooper plans to concentrate on crucial initiatives, such as education, housing for the homeless, and the East Bank plan. It is also noteworthy that his brother, Jim Cooper, recently decided not to run for re-election in the U.S. House, due to the state’s redrawing of his district to lean more towards Republicans.
Nashville’s mayoral election is set to take place on August 3rd, providing residents with a unique opportunity to vote for new leadership after Cooper’s term.